DEFLATION FOR IMPLANT RUPTURE: The diagnosis of a leaking implant is highly dependent on the type of implant. When a saline implant leaks, most of the time, the implant was completely empty and this results in marked asymmetry. The deflated side returns to it is pre-augmented state. This is usually very obvious, but can be difficult to diagnose if it does not completely deflate. It is caused by trauma to the breast or mechanical failure of the device. Often times, patients come in believing their implant is deflating because one breast is small than the other. Sometimes, this is caused by capsule contracture and not a leaking implant. An experienced cosmetic surgeon can make the diagnosis by physical examination and history. It is much more difficult with silicone to make the diagnosis. The rate of deflation of saline implants is 5-10% at 10 years.
RUPTURED SILICONE IMPLANTS: This ruptured deflation may not be as obvious as saline deflation. The only way to know for certain is direct inspection of the implant. Ultrasound and MRI, however, have a 90% accuracy in making the diagnosis. The safety of a ruptured silicone implant has been one of the most intensely studied topics in plastic surgery. Reported rates of rupture varied from 4-63%. Factors associated with rupture include the age, manufacturer, and location of the implant. A ruptured implant can be confined within the capsule or extracapsular. Symptoms may or may not be present. Once the implant is identified as ruptured, it should be removed. Options are to replace with saline or silicone, perform a breast lift, or do nothing after removal.
MANUFACTURER WARRANTY. There is often confusion about what is covered by the manufacture of the implants. The only two companies that make breast implants in the United States are Mentor and Allergan (formerly McGhan). They basically have the same coverage. The only thing that is covered is a leak or deflation. Any other complication such as a capsule are not covered. Both companies have a basic warranty that we will replace the deflated implant and provide 1200 dollars toward the fee for replacement. That coverage is doubled to 2400 dollars and both implants can be replaced for the extended warranty that costs a one-time fee of 100 dollars. This one-time fee provides coverage for 10 years. Every office has its own policy about cause for deflated implants. At the Vein & Liposculpture Center, we encourage patients to buy the extended warranty, and if they do, our office policy is full coverage at no cost except for any anesthesia fees.